Ninth-ranked Pearl River hosts 2013 MACJC State Tournament Thursday through Saturday

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           POPLARVILLE — Ninth-ranked and South Division champion Pearl River plays host to the 2013 MACJC State Baseball Tournament here Thursday through Saturday in Wildcat Stadium.
            PRCC, the South Division regular-season champions, earned hosting rights via its 2-1, 11-4 sweep over North No. 4 Itawamba in Poplarville in one of three MACJC best-of-three playoff series around the state.
            Other teams in the tournament include East Central, which swept Mississippi Delta 5-2, 7-3 in its series in Decatur; Northeast Mississippi, which saw Mississippi Gulf Coast take an 7-2 opening victory before winning 9-4, 5-4 to clinch its series in Booneville; and Northwest Mississippi, which swept 19th-ranked Jones County 5-3, 11-9 in its series in Senatobia.
            The highest-seeded South Division series winner — PRCC — copped hosting rights to the tournament.
            Heading into the tournament, Pearl River is 38-10 overall, East Central 28-19, Northeast Mississippi 30-16, and Northwest Mississippi 29-14.
            River head coach Josh Hoffpauir is amidst his third season with the Wildcats, while East Central’s Neal Hollimon, Northeast’s Kent Farris, and Northwest’s Mark Carson are all in their eighth seasons at the respective schools.
            Tournament play kicks off at 4 p.m. Thursday with East Central facing Northeast, followed by Pearl River versus Northwest at 7 p.m. Friday’s action sees the ECCC-NEMCC loser versus the PRCC-NWCC loser at 12 noon, while the ECCC-NEMCC winner takes on the PRCC-NWCC winner at 3:30 p.m. That contest’s losing team will face the 12 noon winner of loser’s bracket at 7 p.m.
            The state championship game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday. If a second game is needed, it will be played at 5 p.m.
            The Wildcats last won a state baseball title in 2004 under then-head coach Jay Artigues, who is now head coach at Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.

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